Local Business SEO Checklist for Christmas


The countdown to Christmas is in full swing and its time to make sure your local business will be Christmas ready and optimized. Online visibility is crucial for local businesses whether that be In-Store or Online sales, so get cracking with our local SEO Checklist for Christmas.

This checklist assumes you as a local business already have a verified Google Business Page, if you have not claimed or created one head over to: https://www.google.com/business/

Three parts to our Christmas Checklist:

  • Get Your Google Business Page Christmas Ready
  • Get Your Website Christmas Ready
  • Get Your AdWords Christmas Ready

 

Get Your Google Business Page Christmas Ready

I am always surprised by the amount of local businesses that underestimate the importance of a Google Business Page. A well optimized business page can generate more leads and traffic then your website could only dream of in a localised setting.

 
Get Your Google Business Page Christmas Ready

 

Logo & Cover Image

Time to add your logo and header image, the last thing you want is for a potential shopper to see an unloved business page, what does that say about you as a business.

Change your header image to a more Christmassy feel, go on get into the spirit of it.

 

 

Google Business Page Cover Image for Christmas

 

Whilst you are inside your photo section, you can also add interior images, product images, team images. Showcase your business!

More on Manage Photos

 

Tag Line & Story

With the new layout of Google+ adding a tag line and story to your business page is now located in your About Me section.

 

Google Business Page Tag Line and Story

 

Add your business Tag Line and Story, be sure to mention and link to your Christmas offerings.

 

Special Hours

Your Business Page allows you to set special hours outside of your normal business hours. You must have regular business hours set before you can add special hours.

You can set additional hours for late night opening, extended hours on Sat the 24th and if you are not open on Boxing day (Mon 26th) then be sure to mark this as closed as your normal hours would indicate you are open, or if you are open but have limited hours, be sure to indicate this too.

 

 

Google Business Page Christmas Special Hours

 

The last thing you want is Google to tell people you are closed, when you are open. Set your Hours!

 

 
More on Christmas Special Hours

 

Get Social

Yes your Google Business Page is a social platform that is ignored. Most business forget about using their business page once they have updated their business info. It may not be as popular as FB, Twit or Insta, but if there is one thing that will spark your interest, its this.

Post on your business page are read, understood and indexed by Googlebot which all leads to a better understanding by Google as to who you are, where you are and what you offer.

So next time you post onto your Social profiles, update your Business page too.

 

*Bold Text Is Especially Good for Titles and Headlines*

_Italics are especially good for adding emphasis_

-Strike this text out-

 

And don’t forget your Christmas hashtag #.

 

Business Reviews

Reviews are big, bold and attention seeking in the local pack and maps. Heat map studies have shown how users naturally check out businesses with reviews showing on their Google business listing first.

You need five business reviews before you have review stars showing alongside your business listing.

 

  • Incorporate a review strategy into your customer service emails
  • Respond and reply to all reviews via your dashboard
  • How to create a Direct Link for Customer Reviews.

 
More on Google Business Dashboard

 

Get Your Website SEO Christmas Ready

Any business with a physical address that has local customers should be incorporating Local SEO into their online marketing strategy. These local SEO tips will increase your sites local visibility in time for Christmas.

 
Get Your SEO Christmas Ready

 

Page Titles & Descriptions

Each Page should provide a unique title and description that best describes the service or product on that particular page. Including your location in your landing page title tag, you will be letting both search engines and human visitors know that your business serves and is located in a specific geographic location.

Home Page

Tim's Boiler & Heating - Emergency Plumber - Northampton, UK

 

For Internal Service Pages

Boiler Installation & Repair - Northampton - Tim's Boiler & Heating

 

If you have product pages be sure to re-visit these and adjust to suit Christmas where relevant. If you have a “Gifts for Her” page, it could now be “Christmas Gifts for Her”.

 
More on Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors

 

Location and Structured Data

Reinforce your location to Google and other search engines, and make it easy for customers to find your location by adding your Business Details site wide. By adding the business details on page, you can now also markup the details with structured data.

The easiest way to achieve this is within your footer.

 

Local Business Location and Structured Data

 

Check the Local Business Schema page to see if your business type is supported, if it is not supported then use the LocalBusiness as default.

 

<script type="application/ld+json">
   {
  	"@context": "http://schema.org",
  	"@type": "LocalBusiness",
  	"address": {
    "@type": "PostalAddress",
    "streetAddress": "6 Regal Close",
    "addressLocality": "Corby",
    "addressRegion": "Northamptonshire",
    "postalCode":"NN17 1EZ"
    
  	},
  	"description": "Online Ownership is a results driven, ethical SEO and online marketing consultancy",
  	"name": "Online Ownership",
    "openingHours": "Mo-Fr 09:00-18:00",
  	"telephone": "01536 269 657",
  	"email": "info@onlineowership.com",
    "url": "http://onlineownership.com",
    "hasMap": "https://goo.gl/maps/nGeYv6mVXvF2",
    "sameAs" : [
    "https://plus.google.com/+OnlineownershipUK",
    "https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwpL0xyVCiYJS_Yozf8Mt_g"
    ]
   }
 }
</script>

 

Your Christmas Events Data

Having your event appear in your businesses knowledge panel, provides users with a direct link to the event and provides a great call to action within search results.

Event Structured Data in local Knowledge Panel

 

Specific Event Schema

Event Schema is then broken down into more specific event types.

Business Event
Childrens Event
Comedy Event
Dance Event
Delivery Event
Education Event
Exhibition Event
Festival
Literary Event
Food Event
Music Event
Publication Event
Sale Event
Screening Event
Social Event
Sports Event
Theater Event
Visual Arts Event

Event Schema with JSON-LD appearing in Knowledge Panel

 

All event types follow a similar structure.

Example of Exhibition Event Structured Data:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "http://schema.org",
  "@type": "ExhibitionEvent",
  "name": "Stone and Bronze",
  "image": "http://messumswiltshire.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/18-03-2016_10091-225x300.jpg", 
  "url": "http://messumswiltshire.com/bronze-and-stone/",
  "description": "Stone and Bronze exhibition features work of three internationally recognised West Country Artists, Bridget McCrum, Tim Harrisson and Dominic Welch.",
  "startDate": "2016-09-24T10:00",
  "endDate": "2016-11-05T17:00",
  "location": {
    "@type": "Place",
    "name": "Messums Wiltshire",
    "sameAs": "http://messumswiltshire.com/",
    "address": {
      "@type": "PostalAddress",
      "streetAddress": "Place Farm, Court St, ",
      "addressLocality": "Tisbury",
      "addressRegion": "Wiltshire",
      "postalCode": "SP3 6LW"
    }
  },
  "offers": {
    "@type": "Offer",
    "url": "http://messumswiltshire.com/bronze-and-stone/"
  }
}
 </script>

More on Event Structured Data

 

On Site Reviews

If you allow users to add reviews on your products or service on site, then your can markup the reviews with structured data, which appear in search results for that page.

Review Markup with Structured Data

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "http://schema.org/",
  "@type": "LocalBusiness",
  "name": "Online Ownership",
  "description": "Online Ownership offers bespoke Local SEO tailored to your business, its locality and your business needs.",
  "aggregateRating": {
    "@type": "AggregateRating",
    "ratingValue": "4.9",
    "bestRating": "5",
    "ratingCount": "15"
  }
}
</script>

 
Note: Google is cracking down on review markup abuse, so only add structured data to pages where you actually have the reviews and they apply directly. Your Contact Us page should not be displaying aggregated review data, as an example.

 

Content, Promotions and Offers

If you don’t publish it, there is no way for Google and other search engines to know what your business offers and where it offers it.

Think about your customers and what they need from your content:

  • What do consumers want to learn about your category, products, or services? Do you have snackable content on mobile that answers their questions?

 

  • Do consumers want to visit your business? Are you helping them find nearby locations and highlighting in-stock inventory on your mobile site/app and in mobile search results?

 

  • What are consumers doing with your product or service (for example, baking cookies, buying a home, recovering from an injury)? Do you have how-to video content to support their efforts?

 

  • Where are consumers buying your product? How can you support consumers who are buying from you in-store or while on the go? Are you empowering consumers to check out in whatever way suits their need?

 

Start growing your business today by understanding your customers needs and satisfy those needs with your content.

 

Checkout

The biggest faux pas that any business can make is failing to make sure that your checkout works, yes it might have worked last month, but does it today? You cant afford to lose a single when you have worked so hard to get people to your site!

 

Get Your AdWords Christmas Ready

This section deserves its own dedicated article, nevertheless we provide some quick wins for the local business.

 
Get your Adwords Christmas Ready

 

Location Specific

When it comes to advertising on AdWords, consider the estate agent adage: “Location, location, location!” Regardless of how great your ad is, it probably won’t perform as well if it doesn’t appear in the right places. Reach your customers where they are and where your business can serve them by using AdWords location targeting.

 

Location Extensions

You can extend your AdWords campaigns by dynamically attaching your business address to your ads, with location extensions. As well as the description lines and URL that appear in your ad text, your ad can also feature your business name, address, and phone number. Whether you have multiple storefronts you’d like to promote locally, or a single storefront, location extensions can help attract customers who may be just around the corner and those searching for a business in an area they’re planning to visit soon.

 

Keywords & Ads

Check your Ads and keywords for relevant Christmas terms that would be relevant to your product or service.

Using the right headlines and taglines any time you are creating new content should always be considered, especially if you are attempting to make a name for your brand in the online world. Always avoid taking similar headlines and instead, create your own with personal details and opinions. The more “real” you seem online when you are creating a campaign for an upcoming holiday, the easier it is for potential customers to take you seriously, regardless of the products or the type of services you have to offer.

 

Google Shopping

In order to display your businesses products via Google Shopping Products or Products: Search items at this store, featured in your knowledge panel or Google Business Page, a business needs to complete five steps via Google local ads inventory.

  • Register your Interest
  • Configure your Accounts ( Google My Business, Adwords )
  • Create, Register and Submit Feeds ( Merchant Center )
  • Complete Inventory Verification
  • Enable Local in your Shopping Campaign ( Adwords )

 
More on Google Shopping

Create your Christmas Campaign

 

Have a Wonderful and Prosperous Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Online Ownership

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